Showing posts with label science news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science news. Show all posts

Sushila Sonar's low cost electric Wheelchair

12:18 PM
Writes Sanjog Chamling

23rd June 2016 Arunachal Pradesh: Sushila Sonar, an Indian Gorkha, who recently won Gold for India in the International Taekwondo Championship held at Bhutan (Read here - Gorkhas Daughter wins Gold and Bronze in International Taekwondo Championship) has given us yet another reason  to be proud. Sushila, a student of BSc Interior Design from  Arunachal Pradesh has designed low cost electric wheelchair which is the hope for the physically challenged and elderly.They will no longer have to be at the mercy of someone to move from one place to another.And they will have no reason to compromise their dignity. she said.

She did her graduation from JD Institute of Fashion Technology Guwahaty. She believes that, her low cost electric wheel chair will be of great help who cannot afford expensive wheelchairs in the market.
Sushila Sonar an Indian Gorkha with her wheelchair
Sushila Sonar an Indian Gorkha with her wheelchair
She was inspired to make such a wheelchair when she saw her friend's mother who is partially paralyzed."I call it a 'magic wheels' since it gives mobility to those who are otherwise dependent on others. I recon it gives more confidence to people." she added.

Sushila Sonar's interview
Ms. Sushila Sonar, a Gorkha resident of Arunachal from Naharlagun came up with a brilliant initiative of making low cost electric wheel chair out of  waste products for the Physically Handicapped people. The 'migic wheels' costs Rs 20,000 which is the cheapest so far available in the market.The avarage cost of the powered wheelchair in the market cost from Rs 60,000 to Rs10,00,000 Sonar said.
Sushila Sonar's low cost electric Wheelchair
Sushila Sonar's low cost electric Wheelchair
" Architecture is not an inspirational business, it's a rational procedure to do sensible and hopefully beautiful things in Life "

India launches record 20 satellites ISRO creates history

9:31 PM
Sriharikota: India successfully put into orbit its own earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 and 19 other satellites, including one belonging to the Google company Terra Bella, USA, on Wednesday morning. With this, India successfully completed yet another multiple satellite launch in a single rocket mission. Exactly at 9.26 am, the PSLV rocket standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing 320 tons tore into the morning skies with fierce orange flames at its tail.

Gathering speed every second, the rocket raced towards the heavens amid loud cheers from ISRO officials and the media at the rocket port here. At the rocket mission control room, Indian space scientists at ISRO were glued to their computer screens watching the rocket escaping the Earth’s gravitational pull.

Soon after the launch, a beaming ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said the mission was a success and that the new-generation Cartosat was in place. The rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle’s (PSLV) main cargo was India's 725.5 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for Earth observation with a design life of five years.
ISRO creates history, successfully launches record 20 satellites
ISRO creates history, successfully launches record 20 satellites
This satellite is similar to the earlier Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B. The other 19 satellites weighing around 560 kgs were from US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia as well as one satellite each from Chennai's Sathyabama University and College of Engineering, Pune.

The images sent by Cartosat satellite will be useful for cartographic, urban, rural, coastal land use, water distribution and other applications. According to ISRO, the 110 kg SkySat Gen2-1 belonging to Terra Bella, a Google company, is a small earth imaging satellite capable of capturing sub-metre resolution imagery and high definition video.

The Planet Lab’s Dove Satellites are also Earth imaging satellites. A total of 12 Dove satellites, each weighing 4.7 kg, were carried in this mission inside three QuadPack dispensers, ISRO said. The PSLV rocket also put into orbit the 85 kg M3MSat from Canada. The technology demonstration mission is jointly funded and managed by Defence Research and Development Canada and the Canadian Space Agency.
ISRO record launch 20 satellites
ISRO record launch 20 satellites

The other satellites launched are: 120 kg LAPSN-A3 of Indonesia, the 130 kg BIROS, from German Aerospace Centre, Germany and the 25.5 kg GHGSat-D, Canada. Just over 17 minutes into the flight the PSLV rocket ejected Cartosat at an altitude of around 515 km.

It was followed by two other Indian satellites — the 1.5 kg Sathyabamasat from Sathyabama University that would collect data on green house gases and the 1 kg Swayam satellite from College of Engineering, Pune, to provide point-to-point messaging services to the HAM radio community.

The whole mission got over in around 26 minutes. It was the first time that ISRO launched 20 satellites with one single rocket mission. In 2008, the ISRO had launched 10 satellites with the PSLV rocket.

With the success of Wednesday’s rocket mission, India has successfully launched 74 satellites for international customers.

8 Things to Know about the Record Launch of 20 Satellites
  • 1. The total weight of all 20 satellites carried onboard PSLV C-34 was about 1,288 kg.
  • 2. The 727 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite is the primary satellite in this mission.
  • 3. The 320 tonne PSLV C-34 carried 17 foreign small satellites from Canada, Indonesia, Germany and the US.
  • 4. The foreign satellites include LAPAN-A3 from Indonesia; Brios from Germany; M3MSat and GHSSat-D from Canada; SkySat Gen 2-1 and 12 Dove satellites from the United States.
  • 5. The 110 kg SkySat Gen2-1 is a small Earth imaging satellite designed and built by Terra Bella, a Google company.
  • 6. Each of the 12 Dove satellites weighs around 4.7 kg. They are earth imaging satellite developed by US-based Planet Labs.
  • 7. PSLV C-34 also carried two student satellites.
  • 8. The PSLV placed the satellites in the designated polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) in about 30 minutes after the launch.

Via deccanchronicle

Bikal Rai gets a Laptop and Dongle as gift from Chief Engineer from Mumbai

8:51 PM
Sikkim 2nd April 2016 A person from Mumbai had called Bikal Rai more than four years ago after he saw a first Facebook post about Bikal Rai a self made engineer from Sikkim. After he called Bikal the man from Mumbai had a dream to do something for Bikal Rai. His dream came true when he met Bikal in Gangtok today. He gifted him a brand new Laptop and new Dongle.

His name is Jai Shree Ram he came to Sikkim from Mumbai to meet Bikal Rai. He gifted a Laptop and Dongle to Bikal Rai saying these gift for Bikal bhai is from him along with his two friends from Mumbai and a friend from Singapore. Mr. Shree Ram also gifted Rs. 7500 to Bikal Rai thinking that cash will help him to get his Dongle recharged some time.

Bikal Rai gets a Laptop and Dongle as gift from man from Mumbai
Mr Shree Ram also visited the home of Bikal Rai to greet his mother and to query about her health conditions. He's a Chief Engineer in Mumbai Airport. Shree Ram Sir has more dreams about Bikal Rai. He wants to see Bikal Rai in America someday and to make it possible, Shree Ram shared his views with Bikal Rai. Shree Ram also gifted a rechargeable lamp so that Bikal Rai can study in night, in case if there's no electricity.

Via Sikkim Messenger

All you want yo know about the Zika Virus and its First Vaccine

9:12 PM
About All you want yo know about the Zika Virus
Zika virus is spreading at a rapid pace everywhere. According to WHO (World Health Organisation), it is 'spreading explosively'. Global health officials are saying that the virus that's linked to birth defects in thousands of new-born babies in Brazil is spreading like wildfire towards America and could end up infecting 3 to 4 million people. While people race against time to find a vaccine for the terrible virus, here are some answers to questions you always wanted to ask about Zika virus and the current outbreak.
zika symptoms
What is Zika virus?
Zika is a disease caused by the Zika virus and spreads to people from a mosquito bite. Most newborns whose mothers have had the virus are suffering from Microcephaly - a disorder where the baby's head is much smaller and underdeveloped.

How does it spread to people?
Like mentioned before, the virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito, the same kind that spreads dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. Spreading explosively in the Americas right now, The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is saying that the mosquitoes can be found in all countries in the Americas except for Canada and continental Chile. The virus is likely to reach countries in the region when Aedes mosquitoes are found.

Zika virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito.
Zika virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito.
What are the symptoms of Zika?
People who have Zika virus typically have a mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, constant muscle fatigue and joint pain from anywhere between two to seven days. The scariest bit, however, is the fact that as many as 80 percent of people infected never develop a symptom strong enough to suspect anything.

Can people die because of it?
Not that we know of right now. The PAHO said there is no evidence that Zika can cause deaths but there have been some serious complications reported in patients who are already suffering from a medical condition.

There's also microcephaly, and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system. Scientists are studying whether there is a causal link between Zika and these two disorders.

What's the connection with microcephaly?
To tell you more in detail, microcephaly is a condition marked by an abnormally small head and brains that haven't developed properly in a newborn. Although scientists haven't really found a direct relationship between Zika and birth defects, it is strongly suspected. Brazil has reported around 3,700 cases of possible microcephaly that might be linked with Zika. Research in Brazil shows that the risk of microcephaly is the highest during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Is India at risk?
Not yet, but we'd be foolish to ignore it considering what's at stake here. Since the mosquito is found in abundance in the country, and dengue is a problem India faces every year, we fall in the most dangerous zone for Zika virus to spread.

How do you treat Zika? 
Unfortunately, there is no treatment or vaccine available for Zika. Companies and scientists are racing against time to develop a safe and effective vaccine, but it's not expected to be ready for months or years.

Can it be contained?
Efforts are being made to control the spread of the virus. Authorities are focusing on eliminating the breeding grounds of the mosquito and taking precautions against mosquito bites by using insect repellent and mosquito nets. Expecting mothers have been advised to avoid visiting Latin American and Caribbean countries where they might be exposed to Zika.

Which countries are fighting the Zika outbreak?
According to WHO, Zika has been reported in 23 countries in the Americas. While Brazil remains the most affected nation, other countries, and territories include Barbados, Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, Venezuela and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the PAHO.

Can it be contained?
Efforts are being made to control the spread of the virus. Authorities are focusing on eliminating the breeding grounds of the mosquito and taking precautions against mosquito bites by using insect repellent and mosquito nets. Expecting mothers have been advised to avoid visiting Latin American and Caribbean countries where they might be exposed to Zika.

Which countries are fighting the Zika outbreak?
According to WHO, Zika has been reported in 23 countries in the Americas. While Brazil remains the most affected nation, other countries, and territories include Barbados, Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, Venezuela and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the PAHO.

India Has Developed The World's First Vaccine For Zika
Bharat Biotech, a city-based vaccines and bio-therapeutic manufacturer, on Wednesday claimed to have achieved a breakthrough in developing a vaccine to fight the dreaded mosquito-borne Zika virus, which allegedly causes serious birth defects in children.

Bharat Biotech is home to some of the most brilliant minds in the world and began work on the Zika virus a year ago, Krishna Ella, CMD Bharat Biotech, said.

"We believe we have an early mover advantage in developing the Zikavac and we are probably the first in the world to file for global patent for Zika vaccine candidates"
India Has Developed The World's First Vaccine For Zika, The Deadly Virus Terrifying The World!.
India develops First Vaccine For Zika, The Deadly Virus Terrifying The World!
"We have two candidate vaccines in development. One of them is an inactivated vaccine that has reached the stage of pre-clinical testing in animals," Ella said. Quoting a WHO report, he said Zika is now present in 23 countries and Brazil, the hardest-hit country, has reported around 3,530 cases of the devastating birth defect, called microcephaly, in 2015 that are strongly suspected to be related to Zika.

"We hope to announce the arrival of Zikavac to the world as early as possible," he said.
Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes of the Aedes genus, which can breed in a pool of water as small as a bottle cap and usually bite during the day. The mosquito-transmitted infection is related to Dengue, Yellow Fever and West Nile virus. "Considering that women of child-bearing age and pregnant women are the prime target group for Zika virus vaccine, we consider safety as the overriding factor in the development of a new vaccine for this virus.

The vaccine methods developed early on, before the devastating consequences of the epidemics in Brazil came to light, provided us a push to accelerate vaccine development," Dr Sumathy, Director, R&D, Bharat Biotech said.
Currently, the vaccine maker is focusing towards scale up and characterization of the vaccine product, Ella further said.

Via: indiatimes

India launched Astrosat first space observatory, joins select group

11:19 AM
India launched its first space observatory, Astrosat, from the country’s main space centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Monday, becoming a member of the select group of space organisations to have a lookout in orbit after the US, Japan, Russia and Europe.

The satellite was zoomed into space by a PSLV C-30 rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 10am. Six customer satellites, one (micro) each from Canada and Indonesia, and four nano satellites from the US also rode along.

“The mission envisages an earth-orbiting scientific satellite with payloads capable of simultaneously observing the universe in the visible, ultraviolet and x-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum,” said an Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) official.

The satellite launch comes just a year after Isro’s first interplanetary mission, Mangalyaan, entered the orbit of Mars and on the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to meet President Barack Obama during his US trip. The mission will also be the first time the country will launch US satellites.
India launched Astrosat first space observatory, joins select group
India launched its first space observatory, Astrosat, on Monday, making it only the fifth space
organisation to do so. (ANI Photo)
The successful launch of India’s Mars orbiter last year came just days before Modi travelled to the US on his first trip after a landslide electoral victory.
The multi-wavelength mini Hubble-type space observatory, with an estimated cost of about Rs 180 crore and weighing 1,513 kg, will study distant stars, white dwarfs and pulsars. In particular, it will train its instruments at the massive black hole believed to exist at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy.

The Hubble launched by the US in 1990 is 10 times heavier than the Astrosat and is said to cost $2.5 billion. While the Hubble space telescope is still operational, India’s space observatory’s life span is five years.

Astrosat was launched into a 650km orbit carrying four X-ray payloads, one UV telescope and a charge particle monitor. Two of the payloads are in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency and University of Leicester, UK.

The 44.4 metre-tall polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV-XL) version is a four-stage rocket with six strap-on motors for additional thrust during the initial phase of the flight. The first and third stages are powered by solid fuel while the second and fourth stages are powered by liquid fuel which will be filled during the countdown.

The rocket with seven satellites cumulatively weighing 1,631 kg blasted off from the first launch pad of the rocket port.

This is the third time that an Indian rocket launched seven satellites in a single mission. In 2008, Isro had launched 10 satellites in one go, including India’s Cartosate-2A satellite.

Just over 22 minutes into the flight, the rocket will eject Astrosat. Soon after, six other satellites will be put into orbit and the whole mission will come to an end in just over 25 minutes.

The Indonesian 76 kg Lapan-A2 is a micro-satellite from the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space, meant for providing maritime surveillance using automatic identification system (AIS), supporting Indonesian radio amateur communities for disaster mitigation and carrying out earth surveillance using video and digital camera.

The 14 kg NLS-14 (Ev9) of Space Flight Laboratory, University of Toronto Institute for Advanced Studies, is also a maritime monitoring Canadian nano satellite using the next generation AIS.

The remaining four LEMUR nano satellites from Spire Global Inc, San Francisco, US, are non-visual remote sensing satellites, focusing primarily on global maritime intelligence through vessel tracking via AIS and high-fidelity weather forecasting using GPS radio occultation technology, the ISRO said.

Apart from Isro, four other Indian institutions - Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics and Raman Research Institute - were involved in the payload development.

Source hindustantimes

Bikal Rai, Self Made Engineer, launched his Semi Eco Friendly Car

8:55 PM
19 years old class X passed from government school Bikal Rai, Sikkim's Self Made Engineer, launched his Semi Eco Friendly Car today. He demonstrated his car today on the National Highway at 32 Mile between Singtam and Gangtok. He started his work on this project in January 2015. He finished his project at the cost of Rs. 40000 which he earned himself through grass cutting in field and repairing mechanical equipments in his area. He was unable to make a new engine because of fewer resources and brought a dead engine and gave a life to dead engine to make this project successful.
Bikal Rai with his Semi Eco Friendly Car
Bikal Rai with his Semi Eco Friendly Car
The details of his project : There are two engines in Car

Displacement : 149 CC. Maximum Power : 14.9 BHP at 9000RPM. Maximum Torque : 12.5NM at 6500 RPM. Gear Box : 5 Speed. Top Speed : More than 60 KMs. Engine Description : 149 CC, 4 Stroke. Fan air cooled, Single Cylinder. Transmission : Gearbox 5 Speed, Clutch wef Multiple Clutch. Brakes : Rear – 240 MM Disc [Middle in Axal], front – drum. Battery : Capacity : 9 Ah. Voltage : 12 V. Watt : 108 W. Fuel Tank Capacity : 12.5 Ltrs. Light – Front : two 60 W diplay. Rear Light : 60 W, Single display. Spark Ignition : [SI] Engine.

Displacement - Maximum power : 0.6 KW or 0.8042895442 [BHP] at 800 RPM. Maximum torque : 0.6747395505033 at 620 RPM. Gearbox – 5 Speed Forward Backward. Top speed : 30 KMPH. Engine description : 0.6 KW Duel Electric motor, air cooled. Transmission – Gearbox 5 speed. Clutch wet multiple clutch. Battery – 30 AH. Voltage : 12 V. Watt : 360 W.

The above project is completed by Bikal Rai who is a dropout student after class X from government school in Sikkim because of family problems. He dreams to study in science related institutions/ schools. People around his residence at 32 Mile in East Sikkim are proud of him, be it rich or poor. He invented this car on his own from assembling, wielding to finishing. No one has ever done it in Sikkim or entire India given a background of Bikal Rai. It has been 8 months since he bought a t-shirt for himself. All those money which he earned invested on this project after his families important requirements. Anyone can talk to him on his contact number 9593179038.

Via - Sikkim Messenger 

NASA named the Pluto's mountain chain as "Norgay Montes" after Tenzing Norgay Sherpa

11:02 AM
Sanjog Chamling for IG

Scientists at NASA have named the Pluto's mountain chain as "Norgay Montes" after Tenzing Norgay Sherpa an Indian Gorkha Sherpa mountaineer.When Indian government have failed to confer Bharat Ratna to Tenzing, NASA have bestowed him with this prestigious honor.

NASA's New Horizons historic flyby of Pluto have found icy mountains ( "Norgay Montes") when the first zoomed-in image of Pluto was released on Wednesday. They think mountains, which was often referred to as just an icy orb before,  are made of water ice, but they still aren't sure what's causing them to form.

Pluto's mountain chain as "Norgay Montes"
Pluto's mountain chain "Norgay Montes"
People at home have been trying to recognize Tenzing  Sherpa's achievement by asking the Government to confer him with the Bharat Ratna which is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India. He was one of the first two individuals known to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which he accomplished with Edmund Hillary on 29 May 1953.

At the time when people have been trying to get some attention of the government regarding Sherpa's due right by placing the demand to rename Bagdogra airport after him and a request to confer Bharat Ratna to Tenzing, prestigious honor from NASA might play some role to reach the voice to the deaf ears of the concerned Indian authorities.

India 1st country in the world to succeed in its maiden attempt to reach Mars

12:26 PM
India became the first country in the world to succeed in its maiden attempt to reach Mars with its low-cost space technology when it entered the Mars orbit around  12:30pm AEST today. India's low-cost mission to Mars has successfully entered the red planet's orbit in its first attempt.This is indeed a historic day for Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and India as a nation.

1st country in the world to succeed in its maiden attempt to reach Mars
1st country in the world to succeed in its maiden attempt to reach Mars
India's mission to Mars, informally named Mangalayaan, just cost $US74 million, less than the estimated $US100 million budget of the sci-fi blockbuster Gravity. The mission cost just a fraction of NASA's MAVEN spacecraft which successfully began orbiting the fourth planet from the sun on Sunday.

With the mission's success  with , India now joins an elite club - the United States, Russia and Europe - that have successfully sent probes to orbit or land on Mars.The success of the mission showcase India’s low-budget space technology and hopefully snatch a bigger share of the $324 billion global space market.

India’s unnamed probe plans to study the planet’s surface and scan its atmosphere for methane, which could provide evidence of some sort of life form. The probe will circle Mars for six months, about 500 kilometres collect data and send it back to Earth.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has joined the scientists at ISRO in Bangalore for the spacecraft’s orbit entry.

Critics of the program argue that a country where  21.9% (2013, the Indian government ) citizens liver under poverty line and where roughly half have no toilets should not be splurging on space travel.

Kalimpong Municipality to produce biogas from waste

9:10 AM
The Kalimpong Municipality has come up with a new strategy to manage waste, which has become nagging problem for the authority. KM vice chairman Jayan Lepcha and health official Dr. SD Zimba today informed the municipality will be developing a new biogas plant in Baluwakhop to address the waste management issue and will collaborate with a private firm, Prayas Group, to develop the plant. The plant will have a capacity of 3 lakh metric tons and the project is expected to start by next week, they informed.

KM vice chairman Jayan Lepcha and health official Dr. SD Zimba addressing the press in Kalimpong on Tuesday.
Kalimpong Municipality vice chairman Jayan Lepcha
and health official Dr. SD Zimba
Dr. Jimba said the project will be developed on a plot of land owned by the KM in Baluwakhop. The plant will be used to convert the waste generated by the town into biogas and fertilizer, he added. Meanwhile, Jayan Lepcha informed the project had been delayed due to the unavailability of funds and is finally set to start. The Municipality will now collect all the waste generated in Kalimpong on a daily basis and transfer it to the plant. “The initial cleaning work will be conducted in two phases. In the first phase, waste from ward number 1-12 will be collected, while in the second phase the remaining wards will be handled,” Lepcha informed. He also urged the people of Kalimpong to cooperate with the municipality for the initiative.


Kalimpong youths forms Scientific Research organisation

9:30 AM
A few local youth from Kalimpong, who are pursuing PhD, formed an organisation called Society of Scientific and Environmental Research today. The main aim of the organisation is to conduct experiments based on science and environment and use the study for the development of the region. 
Kalimpong youth formes Scientific Research organisation
Scientific Research 

The SSER was formed during a meeting today in the town, where Dipen Ghimiray has been assigned as the organisation’s chairman, Nishesh Jaisi as vice chairman, Sanjeev Dahal as secretary and Dr. BC Sharma as scientific advisor. The working committee of the organisation includes Abhijeet Chettri, Deepesh Ghimiray and R Sharma.

Source: EOI

Dinosaurs footprints found in Jaisalmer India

11:06 PM
Jaisalmer, Rajasthan:  A team of foreign and Indian scientists have spotted the footprints of dinosaurs at Thaiat village in Jaisalmer district, sources said today.

Dinosaurs footprints found in Jaisalmer India
A team of 34 foreign scientists from a number of countries including France and Germany are camping in Jaisalmer to study fossils of dinosaurs found in sandy desert areas near the city recently.

Dinosaurs' evolution, extinction, and paleo-bio-genography is the centre of their research related to fossils, they added.

Yesterday, the team led by Dr Jan Schlogl of Slovakia observed the footprints in one of the basal rocks of Thaiat scarp section and Professor Gregory Pienkowski of Poland identified the footprints as those of Pterosaurs or the flying dinosaur.

"The first footprint was small, only 5 cm long, but perfectly imprinted on the upper surface of a sandstone bed. Its shape and name is clear - it is called Grallator, a specific name given to the footprint, left by a small predatory dinosaur. The footprint maker was not bigger than an hen", according to the sources.

However, the second foot print was much bigger - about 30 cms long. Such tridactyl footprint (three toes) is named Eurontes giganteus and it must have been left by a much bigger creature, the sources added.

Dr P K Pandey of the Geology Department at University of Rajasthan had already recorded petrosaur bore fragments during the previous years.

Near the Thaiat village on the Jaisalmer-Jodhpur highway there is an outcrop of Jurassic rocks.

Careful geological observation by the team allowed them to interpret ancient environments in which these rocks (once soft sediments) were deposited, according to Dr Pandey.

It could be imagined that a vast coastal zone of which the Jurassic sea would be encroached some 180 million years ago, he added.

These scientists have come to Rajasthan on the sidelines of the 9th International Congress on The Jurassic System, held between January 6-9th, organised by Department of Geology, University of Rajasthan in Jaipur.


India successfully tested Prithvi-II missile in Odisha

6:31 PM
India successfully tested Prithvi-II missile in Odisha, which is Indias indigenously developed nuclear missile, which has a strike range of 350 kms and is capable of carrying warheads of upto 1000 kgs, from a test range. 

India successfully tested Prithvi-II missile in Odisha
India successfully tested Prithvi-II
 missile in Odisha
‘The launch was conducted as a culmination to a strategic training exercise. The aim of this exercise was to validate our readiness by undertaking launches in various contingencies’, said an SFC spokesperson.

Describing the trial of the sophisticated missile as a "complete success", Integrated Test Range Director M V K V Prasad said the launch conducted by the specially formed Strategic Forces Command (SFC) met all the parameters. 

The surface-to-surface missile was test fired from a mobile launcher in salvo mode from launch complex-3 of the ITR at Chandipur near here at about 0948 hrs. 

"The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the entire launch activities were carried out by SFC and monitored by the scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of training exercise," sources said. 

"The missile trajectory was tracked by DRDO radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations located along the coast of Odisha," they said. 

"The downrange teams onboard the ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal monitored the terminal events and splashdown," they said. 

Inducted into India's SFC in 2003, Prithvi II, the first missile to be developed by DRDO under India's prestigious IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program) is now a proven technology, a defence source said. 

"The launch was part of a regular training exercise of SFC and monitored by DRDO scientists," the source said. 

Such training launches clearly indicate India's operational readiness to meet any eventuality and also establishes the reliability of this deterrent component of India's Strategic arsenal, the source said. 

Prithvi is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twine engines. 

The last user trial of Prithvi-II missile was successfully carried out from the same base on December 3, 2013.

Yeti, actually existed - Himalayas mystery solved

9:15 AM
One of the greatest mysteries of the Himalayas may have finally been solved.

Genetic testing has led scientists to believe that the abominable snowman - the Yeti, actually existed but it was actually a cross between an ancient polar bear and brown bear.

Hair samples from what is believed to be that of the Yeti have been found to genetically match that of an ancient polar bear dating back 120,000 years.

Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at Oxford University, conducted the research.

Dr Sykes has over many years assembled substantial physical evidence, which he has subjected to the most sophisticated DNA tests available, to answer scientifically the mystery of Bigfoot.

The professor said "This is an exciting and completely unexpected result".

Dr Sykes however said the finding does not mean ancient polar bears are still wandering around the Himalayas.

"But it could mean there is a sub species of brown bear in the high Himalayas which descended from the bear that was the ancestor of the polar bear. Or it could mean there has been more recent hybridisation between the brown bear and the descendent of the ancient polar bear," Dr Sykes said.

Bone chilling stories of the horrifying Yeti have been synonymous to the Himalayas for centuries with local people and some of the world's greatest mountaineers including legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner, who became the first man to climb Everest without oxygen, claiming to have had a terrifying encounter with a large hairy, ape-like creature.

Himalayan folk lore is rife with tales of an elusive beast that have hardly been photographed.

Professor Sykes has collected and tested hair samples of several animals found in the Himalayas.

He tested two ancient hair samples which locals of high Himalayan villages claimed were that of the Yeti. One of the samples was that of an animal found in Ladakh (India) and the other from Bhutan, 800 miles away.

The DNA tests then compared the results to other animals' genomes stored on the GenBank database. Professor Sykes to his amazement found a 100% match with a sample from an ancient polar bear jawbone found in Svalbard, Norway, that dates back at least 40,000 years - and probably around 120,000 years.

This has made professor Sykes believe that the most likely explanation is that the Yeti is actually a hybrid between polar bears and brown bears.

A Yeti footprint on the base of Mount Everest taken by British climber Eric Shipton sparked a global interest in the abominable snowman post 1951.

Sorce : timesofindia

BBC News - Miniature 'human brain' grown in lab

11:14 AM
The "mini brain" is roughly the size and developmental level of a nine-week foetus
Continue reading the main story
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The "mini brain" is roughly the size and developmental level of a nine-week foetus
The "mini brain" is roughly the size and developmental level of a nine-week foetus

Miniature "human brains" have been grown in a lab in a feat scientists hope will transform the understanding of neurological disorders.

The pea-sized structures reached the same level of development as in a nine-week-old foetus, but are incapable of thought.

The study, published in the journal Nature, has already been used to gain insight into rare diseases.

Neuroscientists have described the findings as astounding and fascinating.

The human brain is one of the most complicated structures in the universe.

Scientists at Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences have now reproduced some of the earliest stages of the organ's development in the laboratory.

Brain bath

They used either embryonic stem cells or adult skin cells to produce the part of an embryo that develops into the brain and spinal cord - the neuroectoderm.

This was placed in tiny droplets of gel to give a scaffold for the tissue to grow and was placed into a spinning bioreactor, a nutrient bath that supplies nutrients and oxygen.

A cerebral organoid - the brown pigments are a developing retina
A cerebral organoid - the brown pigments are a developing retina
he cells were able to grow and organise themselves into separate regions of the brain, such as the cerebral cortex, the retina, and, rarely, an early hippocampus, which would be heavily involved in memory in a fully developed adult brain.

The researchers are confident that this closely, but far from perfectly, matches brain development in a foetus until the nine week stage.

The tissues reached their maximum size, about 4mm (0.1in), after two months.

The "mini-brains" have survived for nearly a year, but did not grow any larger. There is no blood supply, just brain tissue, so nutrients and oxygen cannot penetrate into the middle of the brain-like structure.

One of the researchers, Dr Juergen Knoblich, said: "What our organoids are good for is to model development of the brain and to study anything that causes a defect in development.

"Ultimately we would like to move towards more common disorders like schizophrenia or autism. They typically manifest themselves only in adults, but it has been shown that the underlying defects occur during the development of the brain."

The technique could also be used to replace mice and rats in drug research as new treatments could be tested on actual brain tissue.


Researchers have been able to produce brain cells in the laboratory before, but this is the closest any group has come to building a human brain.

The breakthrough has excited the field.

Prof Paul Matthews, from Imperial College London, told the BBC: "I think it's just mindboggling. The idea that we can take a cell from a skin and turn it into, even though it's only the size of a pea, is starting to look like a brain and starting to show some of the behaviours of a tiny brain, I think is just extraordinary.

"Now it's not thinking, it's not communicating between the areas in the way our brains do, but it gives us a real start and this is going to be the kind of tool that helps us understand many of the major developmental brain disorders."

The team has already used the breakthrough to investigate a disease called microcephaly. People with the disease develop much smaller brains.

A much smaller brain develops with microcephaly
A much smaller brain develops with microcephaly

By creating a "mini-brain" from skin cells of a patient with this condition, the team were able to study how development changed.

They showed that the cells were too keen to become neurons by specialising too early. It meant the cells in the early brain did not bulk up to a high enough number before specialising, which affected the final size of even the pea-sized "mini-brains".

The team in Vienna do not believe there are any ethical issues at this stage, but Dr Knoblich said he did not want to see much larger brains being developed as that would be "undesirable".

Dr Zameel Cader, a consultant neurologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, said he did not see ethical issues arising from the research so far.

He told the BBC: "It's a long way from conscience or awareness or responding to the outside world. There's always the spectre of what the future might hold, but this is primitive territory."

Dr Martin Coath, from the cognition institute at Plymouth University, said: "Any technique that gives us 'something like a brain' that we can modify, work on, and watch as it develops, just has to be exciting.

"If the authors are right - that their 'brain in a bottle' develops in ways that mimic human brain development - then the potential for studying developmental diseases is clear. But the applicability to other types of disease is not so clear - but it has potential.

"Testing drugs is, also, much more problematic. Most drugs that affect the brain act on things like mood, perception, control of your body, pain, and a whole bunch of other things. This brain-like-tissue has no trouble with any of these things yet."

Water in the Moon - NASA

11:48 AM
NASA today announced that data from it’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) show there is “water locked in mineral grains on the surface of the moon from an unknown source deep beneath the surface.”

I thought we knew this or something like it. And, in fact, we did:

“In 2009, M3 provided the first mineralogical map of the lunar surface and discovered water molecules in the polar regions of the moon. This water is thought to be a thin layer formed from solar wind hitting the moon's surface. Bullialdus crater is in a region with an unfavorable environment for solar wind to produce significant amounts of water on the surface.”

But this new water finding is important because it shows that there must be water trapped under the surface of the moon and not just that thin layer caused by solar winds.


Study : Eating raspberries can enhance fertility

12:00 PM
London, August 26 (ANI): A new study has claimed that eating raspberries could potentially enhance fertility in both men and women.

Eating raspberries can enhance fertility
Raspberries can enhance fertility

The berries are believed to have high levels of Vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient in male fertility , and magnesium that helps in the production of testosterone, the Daily Express reported.

Raspberries also contain 10 times additional antioxidants than tomatoes, and are potent in protecting sperm.

Even after a woman has conceived, the antioxidants continue to protect the embryo and decrease the risk of miscarriage. (ANI)

Human mission to Mars in five to 15 years

10:35 AM
A NASA aerospace scientist today opined that a human mission to Mars was likely to materialise anytime in five to 15 years from now. 

Human mission to Mars in five to 15 years
"The human mission to Mars is feasible and doable and its only a matter of time. In my view, if budget and technology are not a problem, then it would happen anytime in five to 15 years. All we need is the willingness," Anita Sengupta of Jet Propulsion Laboratory told a group of journalists here. 

Sengupta had an important role to play in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration team which landed car sized robotic rover 'Curiosity,' on Mars on August 5, 2012 to explore Gale crater, after a little over an eight month travel since its launch in November 2011. 

Asked about the functions of Curiosity, she said, "It is doing very well. Its final destination is to reach Mount Sharp in Mars." 

An expert in Entry, Descend and Landing (EDL) of the mission, her team designed the special parachute, which soft landed the heavy 'Curiosity,' which had travelled in Martian atmosphere and gravity, very different from Earth. 

On whether a similar exercise would suffice for a human mission to Mars, she said, "Well, technically it will mostly be the same, but we need a larger version for it. We need hypersonic and supersonic aerodynamic simulation." 

Sengupta presently works with the Cold Atom Laboratory Mission, an ultra-cold quantum gas experiment to be launched to the International Space Station in 2016. 

In her ongoing project, she and her team intend to study the coldest spot of the universe and also the state of matter called 'Bose-Einstein Condensate,' named after the great scientists Albert Einstein and Satyendra Nath Bose. 

"The idea is to create a lab floating in the space, in which we will be doing tests sitting here through remote control," she explained. 

"We are working towards the target of April 2016," said Sengupta, who was in the city as part of her outreach to inspire school and college students in the field of space.

Source :

1,800 Indians wants to settle down on Mars in 2023

7:56 PM
Nearly 1,800 Indians want to settle down on the Red Planet permanently and several of them are from Bangalore, according to Aashima Dogra, spokesperson of the Netherlands-based Mars One, which is planning a one-way human mission to Mars in 2022. 

1,800 Indians wants to settle down on Mars in 2023
Mars One, founded in 2011, is a not-for-profit organization which aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars in 2023. It intends to fund the endeavour by televising every aspect of the mission, from launch to landing to living on Mars. 

The team of settlers will be selected from applicants registered on the company's website, and a $7 fee is the only investment involved as of now. Anyone above 18 can apply, the main criteria being psychological stability. Till date, the total number of applications globally is about one lakh, of which 30,000 are from the US. 

The number of Indians expressing a desire to make Mars their permanent home is rapidly increasing. Dogra told TOI that while on May 6 the Mars One website showed the Indian count at a mere five, the number has rocketed to nearly 1,800 over the last three months. "This programme is proving to be extremely popular among Indians, I think because of the excellent space programme we have," she said, alluding to Isro's Mars mission planned for October-November 2013. 

Mumbai-based Sameer Kumar said he has a passion for exploration and that is why he has applied for the one-way journey. As for leaving the family behind, he said, "The way I see it my wife and son should learn to be financially independent." 

Amulya Nidhi Rastogi, a third-year mechanical engineering student of Maharishi Dayanand College, wasn't too distraught about the prospect of going without kin either. The 20-year-old Gurgaon resident, who describes himself as a space geek, said, "I always wanted to experience something beyond earth and I think Mars is the first step in this direction. I am confident of settling down on Mars permanently as I have the mental stability." About being separated from the family — who are supporting his plan — he said, "I do not think that will be much of a problem because there will be facilities for video chatting. Yes, I agree it will be disturbing for a while, but I will get used to it." Rastogi is confident about passing the isolation test, part of the selection process which consists of four rounds, the first of which will be completed by this year-end. 

"The final round will be over in 2014, when 20 to 40 candidates will be chosen and there is every possibility that Indians will make the grade," Dogra said, revealing that those selected will undergo eight years of intensive training at a Mars One facility before the final list of settlers is announced. 

The current plan envisages the start of crew training in 2015, launching of two rovers in 2018, followed by an all-cargo mission in 2020 and the first one-way human flight in 2022. Mars One is in the process of evaluating various rockets. These could be either the Space X of the US, or the Ariane European launcher or even an Indian rocket. 

Their website claims that the company intends to provide settlers with water, food and oxygen by mining resources from Mars' soil and atmosphere and that all components required to complete the mission can currently be built by existing suppliers.

Source : TOI

33 new species of monstrous-looking predatory ants discovered

11:57 AM
WASHINGTON, AUG. 4:  Scientists have discovered 33 new species of monstrous-looking predatory ants in Central America and the Caribbean.

33 new species of monstrous-looking predatory ants discovered

The University of Utah biologist who identified the insects named about a third of them after ancient Mayan lords and demons.


These new ant species are the stuff of nightmares when viewed under a microscope, according to entomologist Jack Longino, a professor of biology.

“Their faces are broad shields, the eyes reduced to tiny points at the edges and the fierce jaws bristling with sharp teeth,” Longino said.

In a study published in the journal Zootaxa, Longino identified and named 14 new species of the ant genus Eurhopalothrix and distinguished them from 14 other previously known species.

In another upcoming study accepted for publication in the same journal, Longino identified 19 new ant species from the genus Octostruma and described differences from 15 other previously known species.

The genus name means “eight swellings” for the ants’ eight-segmented antennas.

“The new species were found mostly in small patches of forest that remain in a largely agricultural landscape, highlighting the importance of forest conservation efforts in Central America,” Longino said.

The new ant species are less than one twelfth to one twenty fifth of an inch long — much smaller than a rice grain or common half-inch-long household ants — and live in the rotting wood and dead leaves that litter the forest floors in Central America.

They are nearly eyeless and crawl around in leaf litter using primitive compound eyes to detect light but not form images.

No one knows how they find their prey, presumed to be soft-bodied insects, spiders, millipedes and centipedes. But the ants are known to coat themselves with a thin layer of clay, believed to serve as camouflage.

Among the newly discovered species from forest floor leaf litter, Eurhopalothrix zipacna was named for a violent, crocodile-like Mayan demon.

Eurhopalothrix xibalba, or a “place of fear,” was named for the underworld ruled by death gods in certain Mayan mythology.

(This article was published on August 4, 2013)

Source :

UK scientists to land astronauts on Mars by 2021

10:40 PM
LONDON: UK scientists have designed a concept mission to land astronauts on Mars by 2021 — 12 years before Nasa expects to send a manned mission to the Red Planet. The plan envisages a three-person crew journeying to Mars aboard a small two-part craft. 

UK scientists to land astronauts on Mars by 2021

Nasa says they will get on Mars at the earliest by 2033, but scientists at Imperial College , London have come up with a mission that could land on the planet eight years. According to professor Tom Pike, the leader of the London team, the trip would be the next major step for mankind in space — and create a Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin for the 21st Century.

"We have now come up with a mission concept that uses both robots and humans to get us to Mars and back. The robots will be sent to the northern plains of Mars, with a rocket to get back to Earth — but without fuel," Pike wrote in an article for 'The Sun' . 

"Sending the tanks empty saves a huge amount of mass on launch. Instead, the robots will dig up ice on Mars. Once the ice is melted, we can use solar electricity to produce hydrogen and oxygen to fill the fuel tanks. Better still, combining hydrogen with the atmosphere can make powerful methane," Pike said. 

According to Pike, a threeperson crew will then launch and in the nine months it takes to get from Earth to Mars, without weight from gravity, muscles weaken and bones become brittle — they need artificial gravity. 

He said it can be done by splitting the spacecraft into two, tied together by a tether, and spinning the parts around each other. With the right spin speed, they will be fooled into thinking they feel gravity, he said. 

The landing on Mars will be an extreme ride lasting just a few minutes. The landing module will approach Mars at 22530.8kph, said Pike. 

He said the atmosphere will reduce the speed to 1126.5kph, then parachutes with rockets will slow the module, landing in the warmest place on Mars, near the equator. Pike said in order to return, the crew will have to journey about 1600km north via rover from their landing site to the return rocket.


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